#IDARB: The Game - Games Weekly

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

#IDARB: The Game

Crowdsourcing was taken to a whole new level when enterprising game developer Other Ocean took to Twitter to make its game. It began with a red box. Most developers at this point would do something make the box into a character, or a gun, or a car, and flesh it out into a game about jumping and shooting and driving and blah blah blah. Other Ocean, on the other hand, was stumped. What is this box? Who is this box? What are its motives? Will it ever find love? The answer was clear: when you don’t know, ask the internet.

“Why can’t it fly?” some pondered. “I WANT ROBOTS!” they cried, in a petulant rage. “Penalty box?” asked one, as the responses kept coming in. Most people would be driven insane by the collective ramblings of the web, but not these guys. Taking on board every little idea, from “clowns clowns clowns clowns clowns!” to “make it save my marriage”, the team began the process of implementing each one into the final product.

What came out the other end was an eight-player, Twitter and Twitch controlled brawler, described on the website as an “eSport jumping jetpack future arena ball game”, if that’s a thing you can imagine. It’s hard to talk about the game as a solid state, because it’s constantly evolving based on the whims of its participants.

Using the hashtag #IDARB (which stands for It Draws A Red Box, in a nice Silence of the Lambs style phrasing) and stating your wishes will affect a single game, whether that’s removing the walls, or setting everyone on fire. Or exploding things. Or Rickrolling all over the screen. You can play as breakfast. Or arcade cabinets. Dead presidents. Disney princesses. Oh my god, the internet is genius.

The game looks chaotic enough at its core, with its platforms and bouncing and a ball ricocheting around the arena, and then the community altered layer kicks in, turning all the lights off and making it snow. It’s trolling at its finest, it’s fun for both participants and their observers, and we really can't wait to see how much more the internet can mess it all up.

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